Raising Women’s Voices

Bridging the Abortion Supporter and Opponent Gap

Posted in DC Reform, Reproductive Health Care by raisingwomensvoices on May 7, 2009

The White House has been bringing together both abortion-rights supporters and opponents to help craft policy on an issue everyone can agree on: preventing unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing the need for abortion.

Abortion rights is a tricky field to navigate, and Obama is attempting to keep his promise of finding middle ground on polarizing issues by inviting both sides to share ideas and make recommendations.

body1Still, many disagreements remain. Participants have said that abortion-rights opponents are working on having pregnant women keep their babies, while abortion-rights supporters work to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Some who oppose reproductive rights want more money to go towards “crisis centers” which discourage abortion but, as reproductive rights supporters point out, they often give inaccurate and misleading information to women in need. They, instead, would like to focus on contraception, which many abortion opponents are not thrilled with.

Early on in discussions, the White House staff took the question of abortion’s legality off the table, as Obama has said that he supports the legal right to abortion.

Domestic policy advisor Melody Barnes, who leads the initiative, told participants that the White House is interested in hearing ideas regarding sex education; responsible use of contraception; maternal and child health; pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere; and adoption.

Participants say that suggestions have included: improving education about use of contraception; better access to emergency contraception (which can be used after sex); improving education about sex, relationships and the “sacredness of sex”; stamping out employment discrimination against pregnant women; improving family-leave policies; and encouraging adoption.

For the full article click here

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